Richard Cheney
US Vice President

The "On or before Mar. 19, 2003" column lists key statements made before military operations began in Iraq. The "On or after Mar. 20, 2003" column lists statements made after the military operations in Iraq had been initiated on Mar. 19, 2003 at 9:34 pm Eastern Standard Time. The statements are provided solely as a background resource to the question, "Should the US have attacked Iraq?"

On or before Mar. 19, 2003
[listed in reverse chronological order: most recent]

Mar. 16, 2003

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's interview on CBS' Face the Nation :

  • "We've -- the president's done everything he could, gone the extra mile, to try to get this matter resolved through the United Nations. And -- but he's made it abundantly clear that if the UN is not willing to enforce its own resolution, that we may then be left with no choice but for the United States and others who agree with us to proceed to -- to disarm Saddam Hussein. And we are prepared to do that. And, obviously, given where we are, both diplomatically, as well as in the -- in the region, we're getting close to the point where the president's going to have to make an important decision."

  • "It's hard to see anything other than his [Saddam Hussein] departure that would give the international community any confidence that he would, in fact, live up to those requirements and obligations that -- the difficulty -- we've seen it in the past, inspectors go in -- after the Gulf War, for example.

    We stripped him [Saddam Hussein] of a lot of that capability, defectors told us where it was. We were able to get a lot of his chemical and biological, nuclear program, pulled down. But as soon as they were gone, he was back in business again.

    And if he stays in power, has that flow of significant sums coming off oil production, some three million barrels a day, he will devote those resources to rebuilding his biological, chemical and nuclear program as soon as nobody's watching any longer. That's been his pattern for over 20 years and there's no reason to believe it will be any different in the future."

  • " We've got a lot of big issues, if you will, ahead of us in the years coming up, especially in the area of nuclear proliferation. If the Security Council can't deal effectively with the Iraqi problem, which involves a rogue nation developing weapons of mass destruction, then it's difficult to see how they're going to deal with other problems of a similar nature."

  • " We know al Qaeda's out there, for example, doing everything they can to try to organize strikes against us. Saddam tried in '91 to organize terrorist attacks and failed dismally. These, I'm sure, will try again."

  • "Well, I think we are rapidly approaching the point where, having done everything we can diplomatically and the president clearly has, I think, managed to convey to the American people that he's taken every possible step that was conceivable before he resorts to the ultimate use of force, that having done that, having worked as aggressively as we know how with the international community that time is not on our side. That if we allow additional time to lapse here, Saddam Hussein is likely to continue to try to develop nuclear weapons, for example, may in fact try to mount terrorist attacks of various kinds against us and we need to get on with the business of solving this problem and eliminating this threat."

  • "Containment or deterrence doesn't work against terrorists. They don't have anything they choose to defend. They're prepared to die in simply the pursuit of the death of as many Americans as they can. And we now face -- are faced with the prospect of a terrorist using perhaps a nuclear weapon against us. And we know as a result of 9/11 that we are vulnerable. They -- it is possible for them to get through our defenses and launch a devastating attack against of the U.S."
    Mar. 16, 2003 Richard Cheney

Mar. 16, 2003

Excerpt of Richard Cheney's remarks from an interview with Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press :

[QUESTION:What could Saddam Hussein do to stop war?]

  • "Well, the difficulty here is it's- he's [Saddam Hussein] clearly rejected, up till now, all efforts, time after time. And we have had 12 years and some 17 resolutions now. Each step along the way he had the opportunity to do what he was called upon to do by the U.N. Security Council. Each time he has rejected it. I'm not sure now, no matter what he said, that anyone would believe him. We have, Tim, been down this effort now for six months at the U.N. with the enactment of 1441. We asked for a declaration of all of his WMD come clean (sic). He refused to do that. He's, again, continued to do everything he could to thwart the inspectors.

    I'm hard-put to specify what it is he could do with credibility at this stage that would alter the outcome.

    He's always had the option of coming clean, of complying wit the resolution, of giving up all of his weapons of mass destruction, of making his scientists available without fear of retribution, turning over the anthrax, and the VX nerve agent, and the sarin, and the other capabilities he had developed, and he has consistently refused. And if he were to sit here today and say, 'OK, now I'll do it,' I'm not sure anybody would think that had credibility."

  • "And, of course, the problem we have is what we have seen in the past is that even on those occasions after the '91 Gulf War when we did strip him of certain capabilities, when the inspectors were able to go in through the work of defectors, for example, and destroy significant capabilities that he had acquired, and that as soon as they were gone, he was right back in business again.

    And I think that would be the fear here, that even if he were tomorrow to give everything up, if he stays in power, we have to assume that as soon as the world is looking the other way and preoccupied with other issues, he will be back again rebuilding his BW and CW capabilities, and once again reconstituting his nuclear program. He has pursued nuclear weapons for over 20 years. Done absolutely everything he could to try to acquire that capability and if he were to cough up whatever he has in that regard now, even if it was complete and total, we have to assume tomorrow he would be right back in business again."

  • " But we also have to address the question of where might these terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons? And Saddam Hussein becomes a prime suspect in that regard because of his past track record and because we know he has, in fact, developed these kinds of capabilities, chemical and biological weapons. We know he's used chemical weapons. We know he's reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War. We know he's trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization.

    Now, if we simply sit back and operate by 20th century standards with respect to national security strategy, in terms of how we're going to deal with this, we say wait until we are hit by an identifiable attack from Iraq, the consequences could be devastating for the United States. We have to be prepared to ent that from happening. I have argued in the past, and would again, if we had been able to pre-empt the attacks of 9/11 would we have done it? And I think absolutely. I think the American people would have supported it. We have to be prepared now to take the kind of bold action that's being contemplated with respect to Iraq in order to ensure that we don't get hit with a devastating attack when the terrorists' organization gets married up with a rogue state that's willing to provide it with the kinds of deadly capabilities that Saddam Hussein has developed and used over the years."

  • "And that's what 1441 was all about, the U.N. Security Council resolution that was passed last fall. We negotiated that with the French and with the other members of the U.N. Security Council. We got a 15-to-nothing vote on it. It said that unless he [Saddam Hussein] came into compliance, serious consequences would follow. He clearly is not in compliance. He continues to be in material breach. We've now gone through the process that was envisioned in 1441 of extensive consultation with the other members of the U.N. Security Council, and we're approaching the point where further delays helps no one but Saddam Hussein.

    The more time passes, the more time he's got to work on developing new capabilities-excuse me-the more time he's got to position his forces to attack or to try to mount and support terrorist operations against our forces in the region or elsewhere. We've run out this string for 12 years and 17 resolutions in the U.N. Security Council."




[QUESTION:What do you think is the most important rationale for going to war with Iraq?]

  • "Well, I think I've just given it, Tim, in terms of the combination of his development and use of chemical weapons, his development of biological weapons, his pursuit of nuclear weapons."

[QUESTION:And even though the International Atomic Energy Agency said he does not have a nuclear program, we disagree?]

  • "I disagree, yes. And you'll find the CIA, for example, and other key parts of our intelligence community disagree. Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We've got, again, a long record here. It's not as though this is a fresh issue. In the late '70s, Saddam Hussein acquired nuclear reactors from the French. 1981, the Israelis took out the Osirak reactor and stopped his nuclear weapons development at the time. Throughout the '80s he mounted a new effort. I was told when I was defense secretary before the Gulf War that he was eight to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon. And we found out after the Gulf War that he was within one or two years of having a nuclear weapon because he had a massive effort under way that involved four or five different technologies for enriching uranium to produce fissile material."

  • " We know that based on intelligence that he has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong. And I think if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency and this kind of issue, especially where Iraq's concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing. I don't have any reason to believe they're any more valid this time than they've been in the past."

  • " We are now faced with a situation, especially in the aftermath of 9/11, where the threat to the United States is increasing, and over time, given Saddam's posture there, given the fact that he has a significant flow of cash as a result of the oil production of Iraq, it's only a matter of time until he acquires nuclear weapons. In light of that , we have to be prepared I think to take the action that is being contemplated, to insist that he disarm. And if the U.N. won't do it, then the United States and other partners of the coalition will have to do that.

    Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact be greeted as liberators. And the president's made it very clear that our purpose there is, if we are forced to do this, will in fact be to stand up a government that's representative of the Iraqi people, hopefully democratic due respect for human rights, and it, obviously, involves a major commitment by the United States, but we think it's a commitment worth making. And we don't have the option anymore of simply laying back and hoping that events in Iraq will not constitute a threat to the U.S. Clearly, 12 years after the Gulf War, we're back in a situation where he does constitute a threat."

[QUESTION:If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?]

  • "Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White house. The president and I have met with them, various groups and individuals, people who have devoted their lives from the outside to trying to change things inside Iraq. And like Kanan Makiya who's a professor at Brandeis, but and Iraqi, he's written great books about the subject, knows the country intimately, and is a part of the democratic opposition and resistance. The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question that they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that. ...

    ... Now, I can't say with certainty that there will be no battle for Baghdad. We have to be prepared for that possibility. But, again, I don't want to convey to the American people the idea that this is a cost-free operation. Nobody can say that. I do think there's no doubt about the outcome. There's no question about who is going to ail if there is military action. And there's no question but what (sic) it is going to be cheaper and less costly to do it now than it will be to wait a year or two years or three years until he's developed even more deadly weapons, perhaps nuclear weapons. And the consequences then of having to deal with him would be far more costly that will be the circumstances today. Delay does not help."

  • "But the -- again, I come back to this proposition -- Is it cost-free? Absolutely not. But the cost is far less than it will be if we get hit, for example, with a weapon that Saddam Hussein might provide to al-Qaeda, the cost to the United States of what happened on 9/11 with billions and billions of dollars and 3,000 lives. And the cost will be much greater in a future attack if the terrorists have access to the kinds of capabilities that Saddam Hussein has developed."

  • "I don't think we damaged the United Nations. I think the United Nations up until now has proven incapable of dealing with the threat that Saddam Hussein represents, incapable of enforcing its own resolutions, incapable of meeting the challenge we face in the 21st century of rogue states armed with deadly weapons, possibly sharing them with terrorists."
    Mar. 16, 2003 Richard Cheney

Oct. 2, 2002

Excerpt of Richard Cheney's remarks at the NRCC Gala Salute to Dick Armey and J.C. Watts :

  • "Saddam agreed to cease at once the repression of his people, yet the systematic violation of human rights continues in Iraq to this day. He agreed to return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands, yet more than 600 are still unaccounted for, including one American pilot. Saddam Hussein agreed to renounce all involvement with terrorism and to permit no terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq, yet Iraq continues to shelter and support terrorist organizations. Dissidents abroad are targeted for murder. The Iraqi regime has attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and a former President of the United States.

    Saddam Hussein promised the United Nations that he would destroy and cease further development of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and that he would submit to unrestricted inspections. He has flatly broken these pledges, producing chemical and biological weapons and aggressively pursuing a nuclear weapons program while also working to develop long-range missiles.

    Empty words from the Iraqi regime will not cause us to ignore history or reality. Saddam Hussein has spent more than a decade in complete defiance of all the demands of the United Nations. The question for the international community is whether Security Counsel resolutions will be enforced or disregarded without consequence -- whether the United Nations will be effective or irrelevant.

    As for the United States, the President has made our position very clear: we will work with the United Nations to meet our common challenge; the Security Council resolutions are to be enforced or action will be unavoidable. We must and we will defend our freedom and our security."
    Oct. 2, 2002 Richard Cheney

Sep. 8, 2002

Excerpt of Richard Cheney's interview with NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert :

  • "What we have seen recently that has raised our level of concern to the state of unrest, if you will, if I can put it in those terms, is that he now is trying through his illicit procurement network to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium."

  • "And one of the reasons it's of concern to him is we know about a particular shipment -- we have intercepted that -- we don't know what else, what other avenues he may be taking out there, what he may have already acquired... So we have to deal with these bits and pieces and try to put them together into a mosaic to understand what's going on. But we do know with absolute certainty that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapons."
    Sep. 8, 2002 Richard Cheney

Aug. 26, 2002

Excerpt of Richard Cheney's remarks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 103rd National Convention :

  • "The case of Saddam Hussein, a sworn enemy of our country, requires a candid appraisal of the facts. After his defeat in the Gulf War in 1991, Saddam agreed under the U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 to cease all development of weapons of mass destruction. He agreed to end his nuclear weapons program. He agreed to destroy his chemical and his biological weapons. He further agreed to admit U.N. inspection teams into his country to ensure that he was in fact complying with these terms.

    In the past decade, Saddam has systematically broken each of these agreements. The Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents. And they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago. These are not weapons for the purpose of defending Iraq; these are offensive weapons for the purpose of inflicting death on a massive scale, developed so that Saddam can hold the threat over the head of anyone he chooses, in his own region or beyond.

    On the nuclear question, many of you will recall that Saddam's nuclear ambitions suffered a severe setback in 1981 when the Israelis bombed the Osirak reactor. They suffered another major blow in Desert Storm and its aftermath.

    But we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Among other sources, we've gotten this from the hand testimony of defectors -- including Saddam's own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam's direction. Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.

    Just how soon, we cannot really gauge. Intelligence is an uncertain business, even in the best of circumstances. This is especially the case when you are dealing with a totalitarian regime that has made a science out of deceiving the international community. Let me give you just one example of what I mean. Prior to the Gulf War, America's top intelligence analysts would come to my office in the Defense Department and tell me that Saddam Hussein was at least five or perhaps even 10 years away from having a nuclear weapon. After the war we learned that he had been much closer than that, perhaps within a year of acquiring such a weapon.

    Saddam also devised an elaborate program to conceal his active efforts to build chemical and biological weapons. And one must keep in mind the history, the inspectors missed a great deal. Before being barred from the country, the inspectors found and destroyed thousands of chemical weapons, and hundreds of tons of mustard gas and other nerve agents."

  • "To the dismay of the inspectors, they in time discovered that Saddam had kept them largely in the dark about the extent of his program to mass produce VX, one of the deadliest chemicals known to man. And far from having shut down Iraq's prohibited missile programs, the inspectors found that Saddam had continued to test such missiles, almost literally under the noses of the U.N. inspectors.

    Against the background, a person would be right to question any suggestion that we should just get inspectors back into Iraq, and then our worries will be over. Saddam has perfected the game of cheat and retreat, and is very skilled in the art of denial and deception. A return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with U.N. resolutions. On the contrary, there is a great danger that it would provide false comfort that Saddam was somehow 'back in his box.'

    Meanwhile, he would continue to plot. Nothing in the last dozen years has stopped him -- not his agreements; not the discoveries of the inspectors; not the revelations by defectors; not criticism or ostracism by the international community; and not four days of bombings by the U.S. in 1998. What he wants is time and more time to husband his resources, to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons programs, and to gain possession of nuclear arms.

    Should all his ambitions be realized, the implications would be enormous for the Middle East, for the United States, and for the peace of the world. The whole range of weapons of mass destruction then would rest in the hands of a dictator who has already shown his willingness to use such weapons, and has done so, both in his war with Iran and against his own people. Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror, and seated atop ten percent of the world's oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world's energy supplies, directly threaten America's friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail.

    Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him to future confrontations with his neighbors -- confrontations that will involve both the weapons he has today, and the ones he will continue to develop with his oil wealth.

    Ladies and gentlemen, there is no basis in Saddam Hussein's conduct or history to discount any of the concerns that I am raising this morning. We are, after all, dealing with the same dictator who shoots at American and British pilots in the no-fly zone, on a regular basis, the same dictator who dispatched a team of assassins to murder former President Bush as he traveled abroad, the same dictator who invaded Iran and Kuwait, and has fired ballistic missiles at Iran, Saudi Arabian and Israel, the same dictator who has been on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism for the better part of two decades.

    In the face of such a threat, we must proceed with care, deliberation, and consultation with our allies. I know our president very well. I've worked beside him as he directed our response to the events of 9/11. I know that he will proceed cautiously and deliberately to consider all possible options to deal with the threat that an Iraq ruled by Saddam Hussein represents. And I am confident that he will, as he has said he would, consult widely with the Congress and with our friends and allies before deciding upon a course of action. He welcomes the debate that has now been joined here at home, and he has made it clear to his national security team that he wants us to participate fully in the hearings that will be held in Congress month on this vitally important issue."

  • "Now and in the future, the United States will work closely with the global coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology, and expertise to make and deliver weapons of of mass destruction. We will develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden attack. And the entire world must know that we will take whatever action is necessary to defend our freedom and our security.
    As former Secretary of State Kissinger recently stated: 'The imminence of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the huge dangers it involves, the rejection of a viable inspection system, and the demonstrated hostility of Saddam Hussein combine to produce an imperative for preemptive action.' If the United States could have preempted 9/11, we would have, no question. Should we be able to ent another, much more devastating attack, we will, no question. This nation will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terror regimes.

    I am familiar with the arguments against taking action in the case of Saddam Hussein. Some concede that Saddam is evil, power-hungry, and a menace -- but that, until he crosses the threshold of actually possessing nuclear weapons, we should rule out any preemptive action. That logic seems to me to be deeply flawed. The argument comes down to this: yes, Saddam is as dangerous as we say he is, we just need to let him get stronger before we do anything about it.

    Yet if we did wait until that moment, Saddam would simply be emboldened, and it would become even harder for us to gather friends and allies to oppose him. As one of those who worked to assemble the Gulf War coalition, I can tell you that our job then would have been infinitely more difficult in the face of a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein. And many of those who now argue that we should act only if he gets a nuclear weapon, would then turn around and say that we cannot act because he has a nuclear weapon. At bottom, that argument counsels a course of inaction that itself could have devastating consequences for many countries, including our own.

    Another argument holds that opposing Saddam Hussein would cause even greater troubles in that part of the world, and interfere with the larger war against terror. I believe the opposite is true. Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region. When the gravest of threats are eliminated, the freedom-loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace. As for the reaction of the Arab 'street,' the Middle East expert Professor Fouad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are 'sure to erupt in joy in the same way throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans.' Extremists in the region would have to re-think their strategy of Jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart. And our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced, just as it was following the liberation of Kuwait in 1991."
    Aug. 26, 2002 Richard Cheney

May 8, 2001

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's interview with John King of CNN :

  • "Now we do need to develop resources [oil] here at home. We're never going to be totally independent of those foreign sources, probably shouldn't try, but to the extent that we are dependent on those foreign sources, it's easy for a regime, such as Saddam Hussein and Iraq to hold us hostage, because they produce an important part of the world's oil reserves."

  • "Well, the concern here is that one of our biggest threats as a nation is no longer, sort of, the conventional military attack against the United States but, rather, that it might come from other quarters. It could be domestic terrorism, but it may also be a terrorist organization overseas or even another state using weapons of mass destruction against the U.S., a hand-carried nuclear weapon or biological or chemical agents.

    The threat to the continental United States and our infrastructure is changing and evolving. And we need to look at this whole area, oftentimes referred to as homeland defense."
    May 8, 2001 Richard Cheney

On or after Mar. 20, 2003
[this column in chronological order: oldest]

Apr. 9, 2003

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's remarks to the American Society of Newspaper Editors :

  • "Yet until this war is fully won, we cannot be overconfident in our position, and we must not underestimate the desperation of whatever forces remain loyal to the dictator. We know full well the nature of the enemy we are dealing with. Servants of the regime have used hospitals, schools and mosques for military operations. They have tortured and executed prisoners of war. They have forced women and children to serve as human shields. They have transported death squads in ambulances, fought in civilian clothes, feigned surrender and opened fire on our forces, and shot civilians who welcomed coalition troops."

  • "In dealing with such an enemy, we must expect vicious tactics until the regime's final breath. The hardest combat could still be ahead of us. Only the outcome can be predicted with certainty: Iraq will be disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction; the regime will end; and the Iraqi people will be free."

  • " In removing the terror regime from Iraq, we send a very clear message to all groups that operate by means of terror and violence against the innocent. The United States and our coalition partners are showing that we have the capacity and the will to wage war on terror -- and to win decisively."

  • "The attack on our country forced us to come to grips with the possibility that the time terrorist strike, they may well be armed with mire than just plane tickets and box cutters. The time they might direct chemical agents or diseases at our population, or attempt to detonate a nuclear a weapon in one of our cities. These are not abstract matters to ponder -- they are real dangers that we must guard against and confront before it's too late. From the training manuals and documents that we've seized on the war on terror, and from the interrogations we've conducted, we know the terrorists are determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction and to use them against us. With September 11th as a fresh memory, no rational person can doubt that terrorists would use such weapons of mass murder the moment they are able to do so."

  • "If we are to protect the American people and defend civilization against determined enemies, we cannot always rely on the old Cold War remedies of containment and deterrence. Containment does not work against a rogue state that possesses weapons of mass destruction and chooses to secretly deliver them to its terrorist allies. Deterrence does not work when we are dealing with terrorists who have no country to defend, who revel in violence, and who are willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to kill millions of others. To meet the unprecedented dangers posed by rogue states with weapons of mass destruction, and terrorist networks with global reach, our administration has taken urgent and, at times, unprecedented action."

  • "Our war on terror continues on every front, from law enforcement, to intelligence, to military action. The President had made clear from the beginning that this will be a long and focused effort -- not only because the terrorist operate in the shadows, but also because they enjoy the backing of outlaw states. It is this alliance between terrorist networks seeking weapons of mass destruction and rogue states developing or already possessing these weapons that constitutes the gravest current threat to America's national security."

  • " Therefore, a vital element of our strategy against terror must be to break the alliance between terrorist organizations and terrorist-sponsoring states. The chemical and biological weapons that Saddam Hussein is known to have produced are the very instruments that terrorists are seeking in order to inflict devastating harm on the people of this country, in Europe, and in the Middle East. That's why from the day the Gulf War ended in 1991, the United States has supported the efforts of the U.N. Security Council to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, And that is why the United States today is enforcing that demand."
    Apr. 9, 2003 Richard Cheney

May 1, 2003

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's remarks to the Heritage Foundation :

  • "The President has made clear from the very beginning that this will be a long and focused effort, not only because the terrorists operate in the shadows, but because they also enjoy the backing and support of outlaw states. It is this alliance between terrorist networks seeking weapons of mass destruction and rogue states developing or already possessing these weapons that constitutes the gravest threat to America's national security.

    Therefore, a vital element of our strategy against terror is to break the alliances between terrorist organizations and terrorist states. In the case of Iraq, President Bush made it absolutely clear that the United States would not tolerate a growing danger from this dictator and his brutal regime. Today, Saddam Hussein's regime is history."
    May 1, 2003 Richard Cheney

Sep. 12, 2003

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at Luncheon for former Congressman Robin Hayes :

  • " After 9/11, President Bush decided that the distinction between the terrorists and their sponsors could no longer be permitted to stand. The Bush doctrine makes clear that those states that support terrorists, or provide sanctuary for terrorists, are just as guilty as the terrorists themselves of the acts they commit. So in addition to going after the terrorists, we are also taking on states that sponsor terror."

  • "In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime harbored al Qaeda and brutalized an entire population. That regime is no more. In Iraq, where a brutal dictator threatened peace and gave support to terrorists, the United States launched on of the most extraordinary military campaigns in history. And that regime is no more."
    Sep. 12, 2003 Richard Cheney

Sep. 14, 2003

Excerpt of Richard Cheney's statements from an interview with Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press :

[QUESTION:Was Saddam involved in the September 11th attacks?]

  • " We don't know. You [Tim Russert] and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time I said no, we didn't have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, we've learned a couple of things. We learned more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s, that it involved training, for example, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization.

    We know, for example, in connection with the original World Trade Center bombing in '93 that one of the bombers was Iraqi, returned to Iraq after the attack of '93. And we've learned subsequent to that, since we went into Baghdad and got into the intelligence files, that this individual probably also received financing from the Iraqi government as well as safe haven.

    Now, is there a connection between the Iraqi government and the original World Trade Center bombing in '93? We know, as I say, that one of the perpetrators of that act did, in fact, receive support from the Iraqi government after the fact. With respect to 9/11, or course, we've had the story that's been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohammad Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but we've never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don't know."

[QUESTION:What is our plan in Iraq? How long will the 140,000 American soldiers be there? How many international troops will join them? And how much is this going to cost?]

  • "Well, some of those questions are unknowable at present, Tim. It'll depend on developments. It'll depend on how fast it takes us to achieve our objectives. Remember when we went there, that we went there specifically to take down the Saddam Hussein regime, to wrap up all WMD capability he had possessed or developed, to deal with the threat that his regime represented to the region, and the United States. Very significant challenge. But we have, in fact, I think, been very successful at achieving that. ...

    ... With respect to financing, the $87 billion we've asked for is -- about 3/4 of that is to support our military and security operations. About 1/4 of it will go specifically to helping make the investments Bremer believes we need to make in order to get the Iraqis back and functioning on their own capability.

    So how long will it take? I don't know. I can't say. I don't think anybody can say with absolute certainty at this point. We've achieved already, when you consider that we've only been there about four months, a great deal, and we are well on our way, I think, to achieving our objective. But the key here for us is to stay committed to get the job done, to get the guys on the ground the resources they need, both from a military as well as a civilian standpoint, and that's exactly what the president is doing."

[QUESTION:Did you misjudge the number of troops necessary to secure Iraq after major combat operations?]

  • "Well, you're going to get into a debate here about - talking about several years, several hundred thousand troops for several years. I think that's a non-starter. I don't think we have any plan to do that, Tim. I don't think it's necessary to do that. There's no question but what (sic) we've encountered resistance. But I don't think anybody expected the time we were there to be absolutely trouble-free. We knew there were holdover elements from the regime that would fight us and struggle. And we also knew al-Qaeda was here and Ansar al-Islam, up in the northeastern Iraq, which we'll come back to, talk about in a minute.

    So I don't think there was a serious misjudgment here. We couldn't know precisely what would happen. You know, for example, one of the things we spent time worried about was that Saddam would destroy his own oil industry, that he'd do in Iraq what he did in Kuwait 12 years ago. The consequence of that, if he'd gone in and blown up those wells, as they contemplated doing, in fact wired some of them for destruction, would have been that the oil industry would have been shut down to zero production, probably for several years, while we tried to restore it. We were able to defeat that. That didn't occur. We had plans for it that we didn't have to execute or implement. So it's like any other process. A plan is only as good until you start to execute, then you have got to make adjustments and so forth. But I don't think there has been a major shift in terms of U.S. troop levels. And I still remain convinced that the judgment that we'll need 'several hundred thousand for several years' is not valid."

  • "Tim, we can do what we have to do to ail in this conflict. Failure's not an option. And go back again and think about what's involved here. This is not just about Iraq or just about the difficulties we might encounter in any one part of the country in terms of restoring security and stability. This is about a continuing operation on the war on terror. And it's very, very important we get it right. If we're successful in Iraq, if we can stand up a good representative government in Iraq, that secures the region so that it never again becomes a threat to its neighbors or the United States, so it's not pursuing weapons of mass destruction, so that it's not a safe haven for terrorists, now we will have struck a blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11. They understand what's at stake here. That's one of the reasons they're putting up as much of a struggle as they have, is because they know if we succeed here, that that's going to strike a major blow at their capabilities."

[QUESTION:Where are they [weapons of mass destruction]?]

  • "Well, I think that the jury is still out in terms of trying to get everything pulled together with respect to what we know. But we've got a very good man now in charge of the operation, David Kay. He used to run UNSCOM, a highly qualified, technically qualified and able individual. He's in charge of the operation now. And I also think, Tim, that if you go back and look at what we found to date, that we -- there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had these capabilities. This wasn't an idea cooked up overnight by a handful of people, either in the administration or out of the CIA. The reporting that led to the National Intelligence Estimate, upon which I based my statements to you, that was produced a year ago now, the essence of which has since been declassified, that was the product of hundreds of people working over probably 20 years, back at least to the Osirak reactor in 1981. The conclusions in that NIE, I think, are very valid. And I think we will find that in fact they are valid. What we're dealing with here is a regime that had to learn after we hit them in '91 that anything above ground was likely to be destroyed in an air campaign. They'd gone through many years of inspections. They knew they had to hide and bury their capabilities in this region inside their civilian structure. And I think that's what they did. And if you look -- we'll talk about the nuclear program. The judgment in the NIE was that if Saddam could acquire fissile material, weapons-grade material, that he would have a nuclear weapon within a few months to a year. That was the judgment of the intelligence community of the United States and they had a high degree of confidence in it.

    What do we know ahead? Well, we know he had worked on the program for 20 years. We know he had technicians who knew how to do this stuff because they had been working on it over that period of time. We believed the community believed, that he had a workable design for a bomb. And we know he had 500 tons of uranium. It is there today at Tuwaitha, under the seal of the International Atomic Energy Agency. All those are facts that are basically not in dispute. And since we got there, we found -- we had gentleman come forward, for example with full designs for a process centrifuge system to enrich uranium and the key parts that you'd need to build such a system. And we know Saddam had worked on that kind of system before. That's physical evidence that we've got in hand today.

    So to suggest that there is no evidence that [Hussein] had aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons, I don't think is valid. And I think David Kay will find more evidence as he goes forward, interviews people, as we get to folks willing to come forward now as they become more and more convinced that it's safe to do so, that, in fact, [Hussein] had a robust plan, had iously worked on it and would work on it again.

    Same on biological weapons -- we believe he'd developed the capacity to go mobile with his BW production capability because, again, in reaction to what we had done to him in '91. We had intelligence reporting before the war that there were at least seven of these mobile labs that he had gone out and acquired. We've, since the war, found two of them. They're in our possession today, mobile biological facilities that can be used to produce anthrax or smallpox or whatever else you wanted to use during the course of developing the capacity for an attack.

    So on CW and chemical weapons, my guess is it's buried inside his civilian infrastructure. That's not an unusual place to put it. And, again, David Kay's task is to look for evidence to back it up, to find physical evidence when he can find that. And again, the whole notion that somehow there's nothing to the notion that Saddam Hussein had WMD or had developed WMD, it just strikes me as fallacious. It's not valid now. Nobody drove into Baghdad and had somebody say, 'Hey, there's the building over there where all of our WMDs stored.' But that's not the way the system worked."

[QUESTION:[existence of] Reconstituted nuclear weapons. You misspoke (in a Mar. 16, 2003 interview on Face the Nation.)]

  • "Yeah. I did misspeak. I said repeatedly during the show, 'weapons capability.' We never had any evidence that he had acquired a nuclear weapon."

  • "I guess the intriguing thing, Tim, on the whole thing, this question of whether or not the Iraqis were trying to acquire uranium in Africa. In the British report, this week, the Committee of the British Parliament, which just spent 90 days investigating all of this, revalidated their British claim that Saddam was, in fact, trying to acquire uranium in Africa. What was in the State of the Union speech and what was in the original British White paper. So there may be difference of opinion there. I don't know what the truth is on the ground with respect to that, but I guess - like I say, I don't know Mr. Wilson."

[QUESTION:Shouldn't we have a wholesale investigation into the intelligence failure that they [CIA] predicted that Saddam had biological, chemical and is developing a nuclear program?]

  • "My guess in the end, they'll be proven right, Tim. On the intelligence business, of all, it's intelligence. These are judgments involved in all of this. But we've got, I think, some very able people in the intelligence business that review the material here. This was a crucial subject. It was extensively covered for years. We're very good at it. As I say, the British just revalidated their claim. So I'm not sure what the argument is about here. I think in the final analysis, we will find that the Iraqis did have a robust [weapons] program."
    Sep. 14, 2003 Richard Cheney

Sep. 17, 2003

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at a 2003 Air Force Convention :

  • "Prior to 9/11, too many nations tended to draw a distinction between terrorist groups and the states that provided these groups with support, sanctuary and safe harbor. They were unwilling to hold these terror-sponsoring states accountable for their actions.

    After 9/11, President Bush decided that the distinction between the terrorists and their sponsors could no longer be permitted to stand. The Bush Doctrine makes clear that those states that support terrorists, or provide sanctuary for terrorists, are just as guilty as the terrorists themselves of the acts they commit. So in addition to going after the terrorists, we are also taking on states that sponsor terror.

    In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime harbored al Qaeda and brutalized an entire population. That regime is no more. In Iraq, where a vicious dictator built, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, supported terrorists, and defied the clear demands of the U.N. Security Council for 12 years, the United States launched one of the most extraordinary military campaigns in history. And that regime is no more."

  • "We are working with the people of Iraq to create a free, functioning and prosperous society - and we're making progress. Most of Iraq today is relatively stable and quiet. There are still on-going incidents, attacks on coalition forces and on others, either from remnants of the old regime or from terrorists, many of whom were in Iraq before the war, and some of whom have arrived since the conclusion of major combat operations. There are two main sources of terror that coalition forces must deal with, and we are. We have already captured or killed 42 of the 55 most wanted former Iraqi leaders, and with the growing number of tips we're receiving from the Iraqi people themselves, it's only a matter of time until we get the rest of them. According to General Abizaid, the actual number of daily incidents this month is significantly below what it was last month, and we're determined to make sure those numbers keep going in the right direction."
    Sep. 17, 2003 Richard Cheney

Oct. 3, 2003

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at a luncheon for Congressman Jim Gerlach at the Desmond Hotel and Convention Center in Malvern, Pennsylvania :

  • "Iraq, obviously there, we had to go to use force as well, too. [referring to Afghanistan] And the reason we had to do Iraq, if you hark back and think about that link between the terrorists and weapons of mass destruction, Iraq was the place where we were most fearful that that was most likely to occur, because in Iraq we've had a government -- not only was it on of the worst dictatorships in modern times, but had oftentimes hosted terrorists in the past -- the Abu Nidal organization, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, suicide -- payments to the families of suicide bombers in Israel and Palestine, but also an established relationship with the al Qaeda organization, and, without question, had iously had and used weapons of mass destruction -- chemical weapons against the Iranians and against the Kurds.

    For all of those reasons it was vitally important that we deal with the threat in Iraq, as well, too. One of the interesting things -- and this is a bit of sidelight maybe, but I think it's important that people understand this, we've had this whole debate over, well, maybe Saddam didn't really have WMD. Maybe he was just bluffing, that somebody cooked the books and came up with this notion that the Iraqi government had invested in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

    Well, of all, of course, the intelligence community in the United States going back many years, including into the prior administration, concluded that he did, indeed, have programs for chemical, biological and nuclear programs -- nuclear weapons."

  • " So there's no question in my mind but what Saddam was guilty of what we said he was guilty of, and that the action that the President ordered in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do. If we had that information and ignored it, if we'd been told, as we were, by the intelligence community that he was capable of producing a nuclear weapon within a year if he could acquire fissile material and ignored it, if we had not paid any attention to the fact that al Qaeda was being hosted in Northeastern Iraq, part of poisons network producing ricin and cyanide that was intended to be used in attacks both in Europe, as well as in North Africa and ignored it, we would have been derelict in our duties and responsibilities. There was no way this President could have done that. So we launched the effort -- I think -- and have had great success."
    Oct. 3, 2003 Richard Cheney

Oct. 4, 2003

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at a Bush-Cheney '04 Reception at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa :

  • "One of the most devastating, frightening thoughts you can have is the prospect of a member of al Qaeda, a terrorist organization, loose in our city with a biological or a nuclear weapon. It obviously would result in a far more devastating attack than this country has ever experienced."

  • "We know, for example, that he [Ramzi Yousef] is the nephew of the mastermind of the attack on 9/11, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, who is now in custody. They're related. Khalid Shaykh Muhammad is the uncle of Ramzi Yousef, who ran the attack eight years earlier. We know that one of the attackers -- and we know this from documents that we have uncovered in Baghdad -- one of the attackers, a man named Abdul Rahman Yasin, or Yasin, after the attack, took refuge in Iraq. And we know from documents we found there that he was granted a monthly stipend and safe haven in Iraq, after the attack on the World Trade Center [1993]."

  • "But good defense isn't good enough. You've also got to have an offensive component to your security strategy. And that's what we've done. You also have to have the objective of aggressively going after the terrorists and destroying the terrorists and their networks before they can launch further attacks against the United States. That's the only certain way to defend the United States."

  • " In Iraq, we went in there very aggressively, as we needed to do. And we think we've made significant progress. We went after Iraq, because if you hark back again to that biggest threat we face, that is a terrorist equipped with a deadly biological or nuclear weapon, a weapon of mass destruction, Iraq is one of those places in the world where you had a dictatorship, one of the worst in modern times, a regime that had not only produced, but had used chemical weapons in the past, for example, on the Kurds and on the Iranians, a regime that had hosted terrorists. Abu Nidal lived there for years, the Abu Nidal organization that did the Lauro -- USS Lauro hijacking. We had [sic] Palestinian Islamic Jihad lived there. Al Qaeda had a base of operation there up in Northeastern Iraq where they ran a large poisons factory for attacks against Europeans and U.S. forces.

    The general proposition had to be that we had to deal with the threats that Iraq represented, and that's exactly what we've done. One of the debates you've seen in recent days is this question of, well, maybe Saddam didn't really have any WMD. And there are people out there peddling that notion -- those who are trying to undermine our attack, the decision the President made.

    But I have never believed that for a minute. I think the record is overwhelming that he [Saddam Hussein] had, in fact, had major investments in weapons of mass destruction."

  • " Now, there's no question this guy had invested billions in developing illegal programs of weapons of mass destruction. And don't let anybody tell you that this was not a significant threat. He's used it iously. We knew from past history that it was only a matter of time until he would be in a position to do so once again."
    Oct. 4, 2003 Richard Cheney

Oct. 9, 2003

Excerpt taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at a luncheon for Congressman Chris Chocola at the Joyce Athletic Center in Notre Dame, Indiana :

  • " In Iraq, a dictator armed to threaten the peace and gave [sic] support to terrorists, and his regime is no more. Baghdad fell six months ago today, and important work still goes on in Iraq. Yet despite difficulties that we knew would occur, the Iraqi people prefer liberty and hope to tyranny and fear. Your congressman had been to Iraq, and he's seen hand the progress we've made in helping Iraqis build a secure and self-governing nation. There are terrorists in the country, but there's no dictator to protect them any more. And we're dealing with them one-by-one. We are fighting this evil in Iraq so that we do not have to fight it on the streets of our own cities."
    Oct. 9, 2003 Richard Cheney

Oct. 10, 2003

Excerpts taken from Richard Cheney's remarks to the Heritage Foundation :

  • " Iraq has become the central front in the war on terror. It was crucial that we enforce the U.N. Security Council resolutions. Now, having liberated that country, it is crucial that we keep our word to the Iraqi people, helping them to build a secure country and a democratic government. And we will do so.

    Our mission in Iraq is a great undertaking and part of a larger mission that United States accepted now more than two years ago. September 11th, 2001 changed everything for this country. We came to recognize our vulnerability to the threats of the new era. We saw the harm that 19 evil men could do, armed with little more than airline tickets and box cutters and driven by a philosophy of hatred."

  • "Remember what we saw in the morning of 9/11. And knowing the nature of these enemies, we have as clear a responsibility as to ever fall to government. We must do everything in our power to keep terrorists from ever acquiring weapons of mass destruction."

  • "In Iraq, we took another essential step in the war on terror. The United States and our allies rid the Iraqi people of a murderous dictator and rid the world of a menace to our future peace and security.

    Saddam has a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. He cultivated ties to terror, hosting the Abu Nidal organization, supporting terrorists, making payments to the families of suicide bombers in Israel. He also had an established relationship with Al Qaida, providing training to Al Qaida members in the areas of poisons, gases, making conventional bombs.

  • Saddam built, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction.

    He refused or evaded all international demands to account for those weapons.

    Twelve years of diplomacy, more than a dozen Security Council resolutions, hundreds of U.N. weapons inspectors, thousands of flights to enforce the no-fly zones and even strikes against military targets in Iraq, all of these measures were tried to compel Saddam Hussein's compliance with the terms of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire. All of these measures failed."

  • "Last October, the United States Congress voted overwhelming to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

    Last November, the U.N. Security Council passed a unanimous resolution finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations and vowing serious consequences in the event Saddam Hussein did not fully and immediately comply. When Saddam Hussein failed even then to comply, our coalition acted to deliver those serious consequences."

  • " In the post-9/11 era, certain risks are unacceptable. The United States made our position clear: We could not accept the grave danger of Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies turning weapons of mass destruction against us or our friends and allies.

    And gradually, we are learning the details of his hidden weapons program. This work is being carried out under the direction of Dr. David Kay, a respected scientist and former U.N. inspector, who is leading the weapons search in Iraq."

  • "Even as more evidence is found of Saddam's weapons programs, critics of our actions in Iraq continue to voice other objections. And the arguments they make are helping to frame the most important debate of the post-9/11 era. Some claim we should not have acted because the threat from Saddam Hussein was not imminent. Yet, as the president has said, 'Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intention, politely putting us on notice before they strike?'.

    I would remind the critics of the fundamental case the president has made since September 11th. Terrorist enemies of our country hope to strike us with the most lethal weapons known to man and it would be reckless in the extreme to rule out action and save our worries until the day they strike."

  • " Critics of our national security policy have also argued that to confront a gathering threat is simply to stir up hostility. In the case of Saddam Hussein, his hostility to our country long predates 9/11 and America's war on terror."

  • " Had the United States been constrained by the objections of some, the regime of Saddam Hussein would still rule Iraq, his statues would still stand, his sons would still be running the secret police, dissidents would still be in prison, the apparatus of torture and rape would still be in place, and the mass graves would be undiscovered.

    We must never forget the kind of man who ran that country and the depravity of his regime.

    Last month, Bernard Kerik, former police commissioner of New York returned from Iraq after spending four months helping to activate and stand up a new national police force. Bernie Kerik tells of many things he saw, including the videos of interrogations in which the victim is blown apart by a hand grenade. Another video, as he describes it, shows and I quote, 'Saddam sitting in an office allowing two Doberman Pinchers to eat alive a general because he did not trust his loyalty,' end quote.

    Those who declined to support the liberation of Iraq would not deny the evil of Saddam Hussein's regime. They must concede, however, that had their own advice been followed, that regime would rule Iraq today.

    President Bush declined the course of inaction and the results are there for all to see. The torture chambers are empty, the prisons for children are closed, the murders of innocents have been exposed and their mass graves have been uncovered. The regime is gone, never to return. And despite difficulties we knew would occur, the Iraqi people prefer liberty and hope to tyranny and fear."

  • "The contrast of visions is evident, as well, throughout the region. Had we followed the counsel of inaction, the Iraqi regime would still be a menace to its neighbors and a destabilizing force in the Middle east. Today, because we acted, Iraq stands to be a force for good in the Middle East."

  • " If Saddam Hussein were in power today, there would still be active terror camps in Iraq, the regime would still be allowing terrorist leaders in to the country and this ally of terrorists would still have a hidden biological weapons program capable of producing deadly agents on short notice.

    There would be today, as there was six months ago, the prospect of the Iraqi dictator providing weapons of mass destruction or the means to make them to terrorists for the purpose of attacking America.

    Today, we do not face this prospect. There are terrorists in Iraq, yet there is no dictator to protect them and we are dealing with them, one by one. Terrorists have gathered in that country and there they will be defeated. We are fighting this evil in Iraq so we do not have to fight it on the streets of our own cities."
    Oct. 10, 2003 Richard Cheney

Jan. 13, 2004

Excerpts taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at Bush-Cheney '04 reception :

  • "In the weeks and months following 9/11, people in every part of the country, regardless of party, took comfort and pride in the character and the conduct of our President. From that day to this, he's led a steady, focused and relentless campaign against the enemies who struck America that morning and killed some 3,000 of our fellow citizens.

    Not long after those attacks, one high-ranking al Qaeda official said, "This is the beginning of the end for America." It's pretty clear that terrorist had no understanding of the American people. (Applause.) He clearly didn't know George Bush. (Laughter.) We see the terrorists for what they are -- men who will not be stopped by negotiations, by appeals to reason, or by the least hint of conscience. We have only one option in this fight, and that's to take the fight to the enemy.

    This is a war that we fight on many fronts. As we stand here today, many of al Qaeda's known leaders have been captured or killed. Those still at large are living in fear -- and their fears are well founded, because we're on their trail. (Applause.) In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime brutalized an entire population and harbored al Qaeda -- and that regime is no more. In Iraq, a ruthless dictator cultivated weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. And he gave support to terrorists and defied the demands of the civilized world -- and that regime is no more.

    At the start of 2003, Saddam Hussein controlled the lives and the future of some 25 million people. At the start of 2004, he's in custody -- never again to brutalize his people, never again to support dangerous terrorists, never again to threaten the United States of America.

    Freedom still has enemies in Iraq -- terrorists who are targeting the very success and freedom that we're providing to that country. But terror attacks on innocent civilians will not intimidate Americans, and they will not intimidate the Iraqi people. With good allies at our side, we are helping the Iraqis build a free country, which will make them and us more secure. We're standing with the Iraqi people as they assume more responsibility for their own security and move toward self government. These are not easy tasks -- yet they are absolutely essential. As the President has said many times -- and no one should doubt -- we will finish what we've begun, and we will win this essential victory in the war on terror."
    Jan. 13, 2004 Richard Cheney

Jan. 13, 2004

Excerpts taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at reception for the republican party of Washington :

  • "As we stand here today, many of al Qaeda's known leaders have been captured or killed. Those still at large are living in fear -- and their fears are well founded, because we're on their trail. In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime brutalized an entire population -- and that regime is no more. In Iraq, a ruthless dictator cultivated weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, gave support to terrorists, defied the demands of the civilized world -- and that regime is no more."

    At the start of 2003, Saddam Hussein controlled the lives and the future of some 25 million people. At the start of 2004, he's in custody in Iraq -- never again to brutalize his people, never again to support dangerous terrorists, and never again to threaten the United States of America."
    Jan. 13, 2004 Richard Cheney

Jan. 14, 2004

Excerpts taken from Richard Cheney's remarks to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council :

  • " In Iraq, the United States and our allies rid the Iraqi people of a murderous dictator, and rid the world of a menace to our future peace and security. Saddam Hussein had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. His regime cultivated ties to terror, including the al Qaeda network, and had built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction. Year after year, the U.N. Security Council demanded that he account for those weapons and that he comply with all the terms of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire. Year after year, he refused."
    Jan. 14, 2004 Richard Cheney

Jan. 15, 2004

Excerpts taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at An Event for Congressman Jon Porter at the Belagio Hotel, Las Vegas :

  • "In the weeks and months following September 11th, people in every part of the country, regardless of party, took comfort and pride in the character and the conduct of our President. From that day to this, he has led a steady, focused, and relentless campaign against the enemies who struck America that morning and killed some 3,000 of our fellow citizens.

    As we stand here today, many of al Qaeda's known leaders have been captured or killed. Those still at large are living in fear -- and their fears are well founded, because we are on their trail. In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime brutalized an entire population and harbored al Qaeda -- and that regime is no more. In Iraq, a ruthless dictator cultivated weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. He gave support to terrorists, and defied the demands of the civilized world -- and that regime is no more.

    At the beginning of 2003, just a year ago, Saddam Hussein controlled the lives of 25 million people. Today, a year later, he's in jail in Baghdad, and he will never again threaten the people of Iraq, or the people of the United States."
    Jan. 15, 2004 Richard Cheney

Jan. 22, 2004

Excerpts taken from Richard Cheney's remarks at the 31st Annual Conservative Political Action Conference :

  • "In Iraq, the United States and our allies rid the Iraqi people of a murderous dictator, and rid the world of a menace to our future peace and security. (Applause.) A year ago, Saddam Hussein controlled the lives and the future of almost 25 million people. Today, he's in jail. (Applause.) He will never again brutalize his people, never again support dangerous terrorists, and never again threaten the United States of America."

  • "From the beginning, America has sought international support for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained a great deal of support. But as the President said on Tuesday night: There is a difference between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country."
    Jan. 22, 2004 Richard Cheney

Jan. 24, 2004

Richard Cheney stated in remarks to the World Economic Forum, Congress Center, Davos, Switzerland :

  • "In Iraq, too, after decades of Baathist rule, democracy is beginning to take hold. Less than a year ago, the people of that country lived under the absolute power of one man and his apparatus of intimidation and torture. Today the former dictator sits in captivity, while the people of Iraq prepare for full self government. Saddam Hussein can no longer harbor and support terrorists, and his long efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction are finally at an end."

  • "In all of our actions, the world's democracies must send an unmistakable message: that the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction only invites isolation and carries great costs. And leaders who abandon the pursuit of those weapons will find an open path to far better relations with governments around the world."

  • "There is a temptation, however, to assume that the good faith that underlies these institutions will always be returned. Yet as we saw in the case of Iraq, after 12 years and more than a dozen Security Council resolutions -- the last one vowing serious consequences -- there comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted. At that point, we must show that beyond our resolutions is actual resolve. As President Bush has said, "Our people have given us the duty to defend them. And that duty sometimes requires the violent restraint of violent men.

    Inaction can bring its own serious consequences. Had we not acted, Saddam Hussein would still be in power, and there is little question he would still be defying the United Nations and making a mockery of its mission."

  • "Well, from time to time, there's been discussion about the need to sort of modernize and update the U.N. The arrangements were settled on in San Francisco in 1945, and that was nearly 60 years ago. We've got certain anomalies, I think, in that the structure of the United Nations, as it's currently constituted, doesn't necessarily fit the way the world works these days -- major powers that are not represented as much -- they don't have as much influence at the U.N. as they might have if this were 1945 and we were establishing -- I don't want to get into any more detail than that. I don't want to recommend specific changes on a national basis. I think those are the kinds of issues that need to be dealt with internationally. At some point I would expect there would be proposals made by various members of the United Nations, to reform and upgrade and modernize the institution. I don't think I should recommend any here this morning."
    Jan. 24, 2004 Richard Cheney

July 12, 2004

Richard Cheney stated remarks at a Breakfast for Congressional Candidate Charlie Dent :

  • "In Iraq, America and our allies rid the Iraqi people of a murderous dictator, and rid the world of a gathering threat to our peace and security. Saddam Hussein once controlled the lives and the future of almost 25 million people. Today he is in jail. Because we acted, Afghanistan and Iraq have gone from terrorist states to free, sovereign nations, and emerging democracies."

  • "The defeat of tyranny and violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the rise of democracy in a troubled region, will be a crucial setback for international terror. Because we are strong and resolute, these nations will never go back to the camp of tyranny and terror. And America will never go back to the false comforts of the world before 9/11. Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength. They are invited by the perception of weakness."

  • "On the Senate floor, Senator Kerry said Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, and that those weapons were an unacceptable threat. Many times prior to the war in Iraq, Senator Kerry described Saddam Hussein as a threat to the United States, and said that this was, 'always his position on Iraq.' And Senator Edwards, in an interview on TV, called Iraq, 'the most serious and imminent threat to our country.'"

    "Every American needs to know that there was widespread agreement on the nature of the threat from Iraq's former dictator. Our administration, the Congress, members of the U.N. Security Council, members of the ious administration -- all reviewed the intelligence and all concluded Saddam Hussein was a threat."

  • "In 2002, after years of defiance by Saddam Hussein, the U.N. Security Council, yet again, demanded a full accounting of his weapons programs. Saddam said no. So the United States had a choice to make: Either rely on the good faith of a man who had started two wars, who had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and provided safe haven to terrorists -- either rely on the good faith of such a man, or take action to defend America. Given that choice, President Bush made the only responsible decision a leader of the United States could have made, our President chose to confront the dictator and defend the American people. And he was absolutely correct to do so."
    Jan. 24, 2004 Richard Cheney